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Kyle Rittenhouse verdict: GOP seeks apologies, Biden says he's 'angry and concerned'

Republicans continue to defend Rittenhouse while Dems mourn verdict after highly controversial trial ends with teen found not guilty on all charges
UPDATED NOV 20, 2021
Talking about Kyle Rittenhouse verdict, President Joe Biden said 'we must acknowledge that the jury has spoken' (Sean Krajacic-Pool, Sarah Silbiger/Getty Images)
Talking about Kyle Rittenhouse verdict, President Joe Biden said 'we must acknowledge that the jury has spoken' (Sean Krajacic-Pool, Sarah Silbiger/Getty Images)

Kyle Rittenhouse was found not guilty on all charges, the jury said on November 19, 2021. The verdict, coming after four days, brings to an end one of the most contentious trials this year. The teen failed to hold back tears as the verdict was read and reportedly appeared to collapse on the table. 

Judge Bruce Schroeder said he "couldn't have asked for a better jury," as he continued to appear as if he was in support of the teenager. Since the verdict cannot be appealed, Rittenhouse is now a free man and is expected to leave Kenosha for good. Thomas Binger, the lead prosecutor said, "The jury has represented our community in this trial and has spoken. While we are disappointed with the verdict, it must be respected... We ask that members of our community continue to express their opinions and feelings about this verdict in a civil and peaceful manner."


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From celebrities to politicians, everyone had something to say about the verdict. The trial, which was highly political even before it began, continued to become cannon fodder for both parties. Here's what some of the leading politicians had to say in response to the verdict.

Judge Bruce Schroeder, listens as the verdicts are ready by Judicial Assistant Tami Mielcarek in Kyle Rittenhouse's trial at the Kenosha County Courthouse on November 19, 2021, in Kenosha, Wisconsin. (Sean Krajacic - Pool/Getty Images)

From Biden to Trump, here's what pols had to say

President Joe Biden briefly addressed the verdict on his way back to the White House from the Walter Reed National Military Medical Center. "I just heard a moment ago, I didn't watch the trial," he told reporters. Later that afternoon, he issued a more detailed statement, saying, "While the verdict in Kenosha will leave many Americans feeling angry and concerned, myself included, we must acknowledge that the jury has spoken." But while Biden was more measured in his reaction, others weren't.

Texas Congressman Ronny Jackson tweeted, "Kyle Rittenhouse is INNOCENT on a case that should’ve never been prosecuted in the first place. Biden & the liberal press were WRONG once again. They better apologize!" Sen. Tom Cotton simply said, "Joe Biden needs to publicly apologize to Kyle Rittenhouse." Rep. Dan Crenshaw said, "Kyle Rittenhouse was rightly found not guilty (obviously) He should sue the major media outlets (obviously) But is anyone else wondering why Gage Grosskreutz doesn’t also have to go on trial for threatening & chasing someone with a weapon? Or does that only apply to non-antifa?"




Suffolk County politician Jon Cooper said, "If churches are going to hold political rallies and push extremism that creates people like Kyle Rittenhouse, shouldn’t they pay taxes?" JB Pritzker, the Governor of Illinois said, "Carrying a loaded gun into a community 20 miles from your home and shooting unarmed citizens is fundamentally wrong. It's a tragedy that the court could not acknowledge that basic fact." New York Governor Kathy Hochul also weighed in, saying, "Kyle Rittenhouse used an assault weapon to kill two people. This is not justice. If there was any question about why we need strong gun safety laws, this is your answer. This should never have been allowed to happen in the first place. We have a lot of work to do." Rep. Jerry Nadler responded, "This heartbreaking verdict is a miscarriage of justice and sets a dangerous precedent which justifies federal review by DOJ. Justice cannot tolerate armed persons crossing state lines looking for trouble while people engage in First Amendment-protected protest."




Former President Donald Trump also offered a take on the verdict, saying, "Congratulations to Kyle Rittenhouse for being found INNOCENT of all charges. It’s called being found NOT GUILTY - And by the way, if that’s not self-defense, nothing is!" But while the GOP and Dems continued to play politics over the verdict, those affected directly by the violence were left hurt. "We know that this system is a failure," said Anthony Huber's girlfriend, Hannah Gittings. "There is no accountability for the person who murdered our son," Huber's parents said.